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View Full Version : Seeking a Ko'olau Review



specialmike
06-27-2009, 04:14 PM
So I'm considering buying another ukulele... soon. But I'm not sure exactly which one I want yet. I'm thinking either a Kamaka, Kanile'a, or Ko'olau.

So far I've read a bunch of reviews on Kamaka and Kanile'a, but not the Ko'olau reviews... seem... rare? Just can't seem to find any of them.

So... if you own one, I would really appreciate a review!

Thank You!

vahn
06-27-2009, 04:39 PM
I bet there like SuperPonos....

wearymicrobe
06-27-2009, 05:11 PM
I bet there like SuperPonos....

They are nothing like a Pono in any way shape or form. I would not even put them up against a Kanile'a or a Kamaka, they are just flat out better in every way. T

hey are the absolute top of the heap in terms of production instruments. From me after playing just about everything on the market cost independent. There are otheres out there that are better on a dollar per doller basis but not on tone.

With the proviso above a T1/C1/CE-1 ONLY. I do not like the C/T/1's. There is something missing in them tone wise.

They are very telling in what wood was used and extremetly sensitive to playing styles. Specifically fingerstyle. If you find a Spruce or Myrtle and can swing it, drop down the best they make. The Koa top's are very good just more traditional sounding. I love the french polish but personally cannot play one without destroying the top.

Construction on mine have been excellent. If I had my way a old style 400 is BearClaw Spruce with Koa backs and sides with Nitro would be my choice. I prefer ebony on the neck and bridge but its not absolute. Missed the boat on one and still regret it.

Prepare to pay 2K+ for a good one, and I mean that. If you want frnech add a grand and a year to the timeline.

specialmike
06-27-2009, 05:14 PM
yeah I read your review wearymicrobe when you first got the ukulele. But it didn't provide much because you just got it in the mail. :)

allinfun
06-27-2009, 05:24 PM
I've had the chance to play several styles and models when I visit the factory each january, and to me they are beautifully built instrument that have a very mature sound for a just made instrument. I can only imagine what they will sound like in 10 years.

For bloom just take a quiet corner and make a single pass across the strings and listen to the bloom as the sound leaves the instrument to the time you cannot hear the sustain any longer. You will notice the bass and treble are very well balanced and seem to get richer and deeper as the notes linger. Just lovely.

Build is spectacular in the attention to detail, Noa is meticulous in his work.

I had an opportunity to play Bruce S. Ko'olau and again even in it's shredded state it was just sublime in the tone, sustain, and balance. I don't need the pimp work, as these instruments are truly beautiful in wood appearance alone and I don't want to pay 12K for all the inlay. :)

wearymicrobe
06-27-2009, 05:42 PM
yeah I read your review wearymicrobe when you first got the ukulele. But it didn't provide much because you just got it in the mail. :)


That one was a T1, I did not particularly like it, way better then most of the stuff out there but not me.

I have played well over 15 or 16 of them over the last couple years now, and owned a few but they just are to expensive for me to collect. I will at some point a will buy a 400/500 with inlay when I have the cash and the opportunity.

Little drunk right now so excuse the verbage.